Apartments can be found in a single building, a complex, a house or a flat (renting an entire upper or lower level). Choose which is best for you. If you are worried about noise levels, ask the previous tenants about their experiences while living there.
Determine the location, size, number of rooms and bathrooms, and monthly cost ahead of time to narrow your choices while looking. There are many sources for finding an apartment, such as local papers, special renting publications, rent-search agents, and numerous online rental directories. These sources give only brief descriptions. It is best to note possibilities and check out the apartment for yourself.
Before you go, make a list of items you should inspect and questions you want to ask. Inspect items such as the water pressure (don’t be afraid to turn on the shower!), closet space, storage space outside the apartment, cupboard space, appliances, cleanliness and general upkeep of the building and grounds, etc.
Ask the right questions. How much is the security deposit? Is the lease month-to -month or yearly? If you sign a lease, what are the penalties (if any) if you need to leave before the lease is up? Are utilities included? If not, what are the average monthly bills? Do you need to pay for carpet cleaning when you decide to leave? Is there parking, and are you charged extra for the space? Are there laundry facilities on the premises? Are pets allowed? Are the window coverings included with the apartment? Is the entrance (security) locked and well-lit at night?
When you first move in, make a list of damaged items and give a copy of it to your landlord so you are not charged for them when you move out. Include anything – nicks in cupboards, markings on the linoleum, stains in the carpeting, a loose towel rack or hook – no item is too small. If anything needs fixing, be sure to tell the landlord about it so it can be fixed before you settle in.